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Travel rule change: Can close family in UK visit relatives in France?

Residents of France are able to travel UK to France - we look at whether their adult children are able to come if they are British and live in the UK

All residents of France can come in with proof of their residency status Pic: Song_about_summer / Shutterstock

Reader question: Can close family (namely our two adult daughters who are British and live in the UK) visit British residents in France when the rules change this Saturday?

Unfortunately, this will not be possible as all travel from the UK to France is now subject to a restricted list of motifs impérieux (very important - essential - reasons) and this does not include visits from adult children who live independently in the UK.

The list of motifs impérieux for coming from the UK can be found at the bottom of this page, and it is the right-hand column that applies.

All residents of France can come in, with proof of their residency status (or if French, of their nationality).

For example, for UK nationals living in France since before 2021 this could include a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement residency card or an email proving that you have applied for one. Their minor children who live with them in France or spouses of other nationalities who share their rights would also be allowed to come.

People of other non-EU nationalities or Britons who came this year would need to show a visa and/or residency card.

The rules say people benefiting from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (WA) may come in. In a narrow legal sense could include certain close non-French-resident family members of WA Britons living in France, such as spouses or dependent children or children under 21, as they benefit from an ongoing right to come to live in France with their British relatives where the relationship existed before 2021. It does not include adult children who live independently in the UK.

The rules on reasons for travel also state that French nationals can come in, whether they are residents in France or not, as well as their spouses and partners and children. The rules do not clarify if the family members must travel with the French person or not.

EU/EEA citizens, and their partner and children, can come in if they live in France or are transiting through to an EU/EEA country where they live.

The other motifs impérieux relate to certain study or work reasons and those transiting through to other countries. There are no ‘compassionate’ reasons given for coming into France from the UK.

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